Newspaper Article

August 11, 2018

"God Enables Those Whom He Calls"

Last Sunday I had the privilege of presiding over an ordination service for a couple of ministerial candidates. Not only was it a special time for them to be commissioned into Christian ministry, but it also made me look back at my own calling from God to preach.

Many of you who did not know me at the time probably wouldn't have recognized me in my mid-teen years. First of all, I had a full head of bushy, curly blonde hair which I wish I had managed to keep more of at this point in my life. Secondly, I would have been one of the last persons imaginable to become a preacher due to how shy I was. My ears turned red whenever I was called on to speak in class. I was someone who would've gladly chosen several written assignments over one oral report. I despised speaking in public.

However as I was reading my Bible one day, God clearly impressed upon me that He was calling me to "preach the word." After months of internal conflict, I finally submitted to His will. My main struggle was not only over my fear and distaste for public speaking, but questioning my ability. I had to come to the place of trusting that God knew what He was doing in spite of how I felt about it and my natural tendencies which seemed to conflict with that calling. But over forty years later I can testify to the fact that God has been faithful to enable me to do whatever He has called me to do. I am still quiet-natured and not the most dynamic or eloquent of speakers. However the Lord has helped me to fulfill His calling on my life through both preaching and writing. Last Sunday was just one example as I never would have imagined myself being in the position of presiding over other ministers as they were being ordained.

What has God called you to do? I'm not just referring to a career or to a specific calling to Christian ministry, although those could be included. We may have many callings in life as God directs our steps. You may be called to be a husband or wife, a father or mother. What a sacred and daunting calling it is to be a parent. We may feel inadequate for all that goes along with it, from the moment that new life is born into the world to guiding that child through all the stages of life. Few of us feel equipped to be a great parent. Yet God can give us the wisdom, strength, and resources we need to fulfill that calling.

The call simply to be a follower of Christ in our day can seem overwhelming. We are challenged by the call to be holy people in the midst of an ungodly world. We are faced with so many obstacles and distractions to throw us off track from the right pathway. We have to deal with anger, hatred, and opposition directed toward those who stand firm for the truth of God's Word. Do we believe that God can still enable His people to be faithful to their calling in such a world?

No matter what our calling from God, there will be times when the going will be tough and we will be tempted to quit. There will be moments when we throw up our hands and say, "I can't do this." And we will be right as far as doing it on our own. However God can do it through us. We need to keep trusting that He will enable us to fulfill whatever He calls us to do.

"He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it" (I Thessalonians 5:24).